Identity Conflict

  • Endogenous Ethnicity

    By Elliot Greene, London School of Economics Department of Government, 2011 market in central MonroviaHigh levels of ethnic diversity are often framed as static impediments to political stability and conflict prevention in Africa. However, ethnicity is no immutable phenomenon and levels of diversity change over time. In fact, increases in urbanization are correlated with higher levels of ethnic homogenization. As many African states are projected to experience urbanization booms in the coming decades, resulting changes in ethnic diversity may have significant policy implications for development and stability.

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    [Photo credit: © Tommy Trenchard/IRIN]
  • Who Belongs Where? Conflict, Displacement, Land and Identity in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo

    Mugunga Internally Displaced Person (IDP) CampBy Social Science Research Council. March 2010. Surveys show that residents in the eastern DRC believe that the region’s lengthy conflict is fundamentally “foreign” or Rwandan. Thus, many Congolese who share ethnic identities with those prevailing in Rwanda are viewed as foreigners with no legitimate claims to political or economic rights regardless of their citizenship. Stronger efforts to promote a 2004 law that clarified and broadened Congolese citizenship at the grass roots are essential to overcome ethnic cleavages and attendant disputes over land, resources, and power. Download the article: [ENGLISH] [FRANÇAIS]
  • Nigeria's Pernicious Drivers of Ethno-Religious Conflict

    By Chris Kwaja, Africa Center for Strategic Studies | July 2011nigeria_mosque-horz Nigeria's long-running "indigene-settler" conflict in and around Jos, Plateau State has escalated in recent years and may spread to other ethnically mixed regions of the country, heightening instability. Navigating such inter-communal fault lines is a common challenge for many African societies that requires looking past symptoms to address systemic drivers. In Nigeria, this will entail measures that directly mitigate violence as well as realize constitutional reform.

    Download Security Brief #14 in: ENGLISH | FRANÇAIS | PORTUGUÊS

  • Preventing Identity Conflicts Leading to Genocide and Mass Killings

    3027873156_ccdc304475By I. William Zartman, International Peace Institute, November 2010

    Mass killings do not break out unannounced, but rather are preceded by identity-based tensions stoked by political entrepreneurs to rally support for their narrow objectives and designs. The resulting spoils of such incitement can be subverted through sustained and early efforts to manage ethnic relations, protect minority rights, uphold accountable governance, and exercise the responsibility to protect.

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  • Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa

    By, Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 2010.

    Despite high levels of religious diversity and adherence in many African countries, most African Christians and Muslims are unfamiliar with each other’s faith and believe they share few commonalities. In fact, concerns about religious conflict are modest compared with those of poverty, corruption, and other political and socioeconomic issues. Download the Article: [PDF]

  • Misinterpreting Ethnic Conflicts in Africa

    By Fr. Clement Mweyang Aapenguo, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, April 2010 Demobilization_of_Burundian_MilitaryEthnic conflicts in Africa are often portrayed as having ages-old origins with little prospects for resolution. This Security Brief challenges that notion arguing that a re-diagnosis of the underlying drivers to ethnic violence can lead to more effective and sustainable responses.

    Download the Security Brief [PDF]: ENGLISH | FRANÇAIS | PORTUGUÊS

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